Clinique Pep-Start A Product I Thought I’d Hate

It’s very unusual for me to buy a product without a lot of research beforehand. However, I seem to accumulate sample sizes left, right and centre sometimes – probably because I’m a sucker for a freebie. I often stock up on my Clinique favourites when they offer you 5 free minis and one of the minis I chose last time was the Clinique Pep-Start 2in1 Exfoliating Cleanser. 2in1 products are usually a no go for me: cheek and lip stain or shampoo and conditioner in one, so I was sceptical as to whether I’d like this.

Clinique Pep-Start 2in1 Cleanser

The only reason I began using this was I had forgotten to take my normal cleanser to uni with me, rookie mistake I know. For some reason I did bring a load of travel minis though and one was the Clinique Pep-Start Cleanser. I thought I would hate it. I was always told that you should only exfoliate once or twice a week and so using this everyday would surely be bad for my skin? Around four years later I now know that not everyone’s skin is the same. For instance my skin is so dry and flaky, to not exfoliate more often would lead my skin to be untenable for makeup application. Not what you want when your skin isn’t at it’s best.

I won’t lie, I didn’t like it as first. It makes my skin red after using, but that’s not surprising considering you’re exfoliating your skin. Once I saw the exceptional job it did of removing my dead skin, I was converted. For me this is an evening cleanse, or you have a lot of redness going into the day if you’re not planning to wear makeup. Or it can be a step in your going out prep, for a uni Christmas party I used this an hour before doing my makeup so I had a perfectly smooth base to work with. I like to follow the cleanse up with a moisturising cleanser and luxurious moisturiser to make sure my skin doesn’t lose too much moisture.

Another reason I see fit to use it more often is because the exfoliation it gives is not too abrasive. It seems to use sugar particles to exfoliate which aren’t as harsh as walnut shell, and it’s also nice to see a scrub on the market that doesn’t contain micro-beads – I actually don’t find them too good at exfoliating but they still appear in many scrubs sadly.

As for cleansing properties, the orange gloop lathers up nicely when you rub it into your skin. It leaves your skin thoroughly cleansed but once you dry your face I do notice a tight feeling. This is why I tend to double cleanse at night with it, to stop the dry feeling. One thing I would mention is that this is not one to use with a cleansing brush, the movement of the brush twinned with the exfoliating particles is a little too much for my skin, it left it quite stingy. (The only time I can see this being a winning combination is if you are getting over a cold and you have the wonderfully dry skin that can be left when you’ve spent the best part of a week blowing your nose. I think it would eradicate that pretty quickly. )

As you might be able to tell, I grew to like a product that I thought I would hate which is always a good thing. I also bought the full size, and got a free sample size for when I go travelling next. (Which doesn’t seem like it will happen anytime soon but a girl can dream right!) I also got NINE, yes nine, other samples because I made two orders when they offered five free samples of your choice. As I said earlier: I’m a sucker for a freebie.

Clinique Pep-ify Giveaway

If you want to try out the Clinique Pep-Start range I am currently giving away the Pep-ify Me set (which includes a mini 2in1 cleanser, HydroRush moisturiser and Quick Cleansing Swipes,) over on my Twitter. Hurry though it’s only running for a week! You can get the the giveaway by clicking here.


  1. Yiotou_La
    January 24, 2018 / 8:19 am

    I am using this too, I got it before Christmas and I love it. I love how it gently exfoliates the skin but it's effective and I use it on my night routine

    • MissCosmeticBlogger
      February 17, 2018 / 11:05 pm

      It's keeping my dry skin at bay this winter!xx

  2. Lucy Cole
    January 24, 2018 / 1:15 pm

    It's always great when a product surprises you! This sounds brilliant, and 5 samples is SO good!xxLucy |

    • MissCosmeticBlogger
      February 17, 2018 / 11:06 pm

      Tell me about it! 5 samples was too good to resist!xx

  3. Sophia Whitham
    January 26, 2018 / 6:12 pm

    Reading this makes me want to win the give away even more! So glad you liked it and 10 free samples is a steal – savvy shopping there x Sophia x

    • MissCosmeticBlogger
      February 17, 2018 / 11:06 pm

      Thank you, I really try to be savvy!xx

  4. Lauren
    March 1, 2018 / 8:50 pm

    This sounds like a great product! I want to try it but I try to stick to natural exfoliation through glycolic acid rather than an actual exfoliator. I didn’t know Clinique offered samples sometimes, so I’ll have to keep an eye out for that in the future, because I’m in desperate need of some new skincare

    Lauren | Lauren the Daydreamer

    • MissCosmeticBlogger
      March 4, 2018 / 1:37 pm

      I use Glow Tonic alongside this, but my skin is very dry and needs more exfoliation than most!xx

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